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Topic - Everest Region December - Snow, Passes, Flights?

BruceM - on 31 Jan 2013
A few questions re December in the Khumbu that I can't find answers to via web searches:

1. What exactly is it that may "close" passes (such as Cho-la, Kongma-la) in Dec? Is it deep snow making progress impossible, avalanche risk, difficulty finding routes, crevassed glaciers covered in powder, or the fact that people don't usually have crampons/axe and are walking in light footwear? I appreciate some lodges may be closed that may make trips very long. But, also, I'm sure there are no snowgates there or cops with blue lights :)

2. If passes are closed, is that IT for the winter? Or is it just a few days or a week they might be out of action?

3. Do Lukla flights wind-down around the western holiday 25/26 Dec, or is it business as usual. eg. can you fly on 25 Dec as if any other day?

4. If you were aiming to be there late Nov and most/all of Dec maybe into Jan, and wanted to explore scramble peaks and passes etc. but were still very flexible with dates, would it generally be better to plan to be there as early as possible, or is +/- a week or two not that critical? In other words, all around that time of year unfavourable conditions could occur at any time?

This will all be trivia to those in the know.

Many thanks.
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